Posts tagged ‘hollywood’
By Chad Upton | Editor
One of the most interesting classes I took in College was taught by a film producer. He only taught that one class, for two hours, once a week. He shared learnings from the entire film making process, from writing a script and getting funding to shooting and distribution.
From this class, I learned is that each film is incorporated as its own corporation and there are a number of reasons why they do this.
For one, it offers limited liability. If someone sues the production, the people who financed and produced the film have some legal separation between the film and their personal assets and other businesses.
It also offers financial abstraction from the people and companies who financed the film. Here’s a little math test to help explain this concept: if it costs $300 million to make a product and then you sold $1 billion worth of it, how much was your profit? $700 million right? Yes. Unless, your product was a film or TV show.
This is almost exactly what happened with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). The studio invested just over $300 million to make the film and it grossed almost $1 billion from the box office and other distribution deals. But, instead of making $700 million, it actually lost $167 million (on paper). So, what happened to all of that money? (more…)
By Chad Upton | Editor
The HOLLYWOOD sign in Los Angeles, California needs little introduction.
Although it is often associated with movies and television it was originally erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a new housing development named Hollywoodland. It originally cost $21,000 to build the 50-foot high letters on Mount Lee, including the four thousand 20 watt bulbs that illuminated them.
The letters quickly became a symbol of the movie industry. Ironically, actress Peg Entwistle became famous when she climbed a workman’s ladder to the top of the “H” and allegedly jumped to her death in 1932. She was apparently unhappy about her failure as an actress. It’s true, she was not well known — it took two days for police to identify who she was, and only then because her uncle contacted them to see if it could be her.
In 1944, the housing developers transferred ownership of some land, including the Hollywoodland sign, to the City of Los Angeles. By 1949, the sign was in grave disrepair. As the city was demolishing it, public outcry turned the demolition into a refurbishing project, during which time it was shortened to HOLLYWOOD. The letters were shortened too, now standing 45 feet tall, instead of the original 50. More residents could identify with HOLLYWOOD since that was the name of the city from 1903 to 1910 and remains the name of the district today.
The 1949 sign was built from sheet metal and wood, which fared well considering its materials, but was falling apart by 1978. At this time, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce began a campaign to replace the sign with a more permanent version. Nine generous donors including, Hugh Hefner; Warner Brothers Records and Alice Cooper, each paid $27,700 to reconstruct a letter. In 2009, Hugh Hefner saved the sign again when he donated $1 million to The Trust for Public Land, an organization formed to protect the area from further real estate development.
Decades of temporary alterations to the sign began in 1976, some authorized and some not. A few of the more famous modifications include: HOLLYWEED, HOLYWOOD, GO NAVY, CALTECH, OLLYWOOD, OIL WAR, PEROTWOOD, GO UCLA, SAVE THE PEAK, JOLLYGOOD. To prevent further unauthorized modifications, the LAPD installed a motion detector alarm system in 2000.
Photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid (cc)
On Hollywood Boulevard and a few other streets in Hollywood, there are thousands of five-pointed stars laid into the sidewalk. Each star represents a person or fictional character who has made significant impact on film, television, music, broadcasting or theater.
The Walk of Fame is managed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. They receive about 200 nominations per year and meet every June to decide who is worthy of a star. They award a star to an average of 20 celebrities per year.
Celebrities can be nominated for a star by anyone, as long as the nomination includes a letter from the celebrity or their management, indicating they support the nomination. For example, if you think Conan O’Brien deserves a star then you need to get a letter from him or his agent and provide that letter with the letter of nomination.
To be selected for this award is a huge honor. You really need to make a significant contribution to the entertainment world to get a Hollywood star.
If you’re given a star, it really is yours. In fact, you have to pay a one-time fee that covers the cost of the star to be manufactured and maintained forever. When the Walk of Fame began in 1960, the stars were free. However, the cost of repair and maintenance of so many monuments, made that infeasible. In 1980, they started charging a one time fee of $2500. Today, there are 2407 stars to maintain. It’s no surprise that the fee for new stars is higher than ever at $25,000.
Celebrities are required to show up for the unveiling of their star, they have 5 years after the announcement to schedule a date for unveiling. Among the awards, there is usually 1 posthumous award per year. To qualify for a posthumous award, the nominee must be deceased for at least 5 years and they are not required to show up for their unveiling.
Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton
Photo: cobalt123 (cc)